On these issues, the recent study “Housing in Namibia: Rights, Challenges and Opportunities” was conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).The study was supported by the Federal Republic of Germany through a grant of 612 000 Namibian Dollar (approx. 45 000 Euro).
Starting Point: Rapid urbanization since 1990
Housing has become a major policy issue in Namibia largely due to rapid urbanisation since independence. While government, together with the sector’s stakeholders, has introduced various policies and projects (including the recent Mass Housing Initiative) these attempts have yet to have a major impact on Namibia's housing shortage.
The comprehensive research report offers a detailed overview of the current housing situation in Namibia with a particular focus on urban areas. The research sought to capture and analyze a diverse range of views and concerns from housing sector stakeholders as well as the general public. The latter was achieved through a survey which took place in low-income and informal settlements in three urban areas – Otjiwarongo, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.
Urban and Regional Planning Bill raises hope
The strength of the report lies in unpacking the complexities surrounding the provision of housing and urban land in the country. The report examines housing as a human right and analyses the relevant policies and regulations, alternative construction options as well as debates among stakeholders regarding specific barriers and solutions.
The report argues that the country lacks a broad-based and progressive vision for Namibia’s housing sector and how such a vision could be shaped. The new Urban and Regional Planning Bill, introduced to parliament at the end of 2017, offers an opportunity to review and restructure the existing regulatory framework around housing and urban land.
The IPPR is a not-for-profit think tank with a mission to deliver independent, analytical, critical yet constructive research into social, political and economic issues that affect development in Namibia. The IPPR was established in the belief that free and critical debate based on quality research promotes development.
The protection and promotion of human rights are key priorities for the Federal Republic of Germany. Article 1 of Germany’s Basic Law describes human rights as the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world. This means that Germany is committed to promoting human dignity and to protecting fundamental freedoms not only in Germany but throughout the world.
To this end, the German Federal Foreign Office provides funds for sponsoring different projects supporting the protection of human rights all over the world, predominantly in emerging and developing countries.
Please find the report for download at the IPPR website at: http://www.ippr.org.na/publication/housing-in-namibia/